TASVideos

Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

Submission #2479: CtrlAltDestroy's GBC Rayman in 28:01.67

Console: Game Boy Color
Game name: Rayman
Game version: unknown
ROM filename: Rayman (U) [C][!].gbc
Branch:
Emulator: (unknown)
Movie length: 28:01.67
FrameCount: 100900
Re-record count: 1917
Author's real name: Chris Strake
Author's nickname: CtrlAltDestroy
Submitter: CtrlAltDestroy
Submitted at: 2009-12-02 21:31:23
Text last edited at: 2009-12-29 19:09:36
Text last edited by: sgrunt
Download: Download (9342 bytes)
Status: published
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Author's comments and explanations:
Here, I present a TAS which I finished four years ago, but never submitted, fearing it would be rejected due to bad game choice. Recently, klmz linked me to a hacked VBA that let me re-create the movie from a save state, since I had lost it. Watching it again, I see that it's not all that boring, and contains many creative and unexpected shortcuts. That, and the game itself is visually impressive. So, I'll give submitting a shot. Hope you enjoy.

The Game

Rayman started as the flagship character for the now-renowned company Ubi Soft as a character to compete with Mario. He is mainly known for his unique design, lacking arms or legs, and having detachable body parts such as his fist which he can throw at enemies, or his hair which can spin like a helicopter. His first game was a strikingly beautiful platformer with brutal difficulty, which was ported to several systems, including PC, PS1, and GBA. After several spinoffs and only two more entries in the series, Rayman has recently faded into obscurity (Apparently screaming bunnies are more interesting).

This game is one of those spinoffs. It's a simple platformer for the GBC which loosely takes story and gameplay mechanics vaguely resembling Rayman 1, and combining them with midi renditions of Rayman 2's music. Sadly, it's not nearly as difficult or interesting as Rayman's debut game, but for being a GBC game, it has strikingly good graphics. The environments are very lush and detailed, and it's surprising what the game does with only 16 colors. The music is also okay, getting catchy at times but other times becoming aggravating. My favorite track is the credits theme.

In the story, Rayman wakes up to find out that Mr. Dark has kidnapped a bunch of Electoons, little pink circular fairies, and trapped them in cages. So he sets out to rescue them and then to defeat Mr. Dark. In this movie, I completely ignore all the cages because I don't care about 100% completion, and just go for Mr. Dark.

The Movie

World 1: Spellbound Forest

  • 1-1: Boring.
  • 1-2: Still boring.
  • 1-3: This is the most boring level in the whole movie. At least I pulled off a funny enemy kill.
  • 1-4: Okay, now things get interesting. I start off taking a massive shortcut and just barely punching down the berry I need to continue.

World 2: Airy Tunes

  • 2-1: A nice fast stage. I also take 2 huge shortcuts using L+R. Also, I move so fast that you can see the Electoon holding the exit sign disappear from existence, and at the end, there are two of them for a moment.
  • 2-2: More fast sliding around. I could have used downward ledge boosts in the falling part, but I had to wait for a cloud platform to materialize. The ending of this level is surprising.
  • 2-3: Somehow I conserve the fast sliding momentum when jumping across the clouds and bongos near the beginning.
  • 2-4: The horns look suboptimal, but they're just really that slow. They stop moving as soon as I jump off them, and then I have to take the additional frame time to jump up and then back down to get them to go farther.

World 3: Rainy Forest

  • 3-1: Upon entering this stage, I acquire the helicopter hair ability. I use it to take a rather big shortcut.
  • 3-2: A few more huge shortcuts.
  • 3-3: The second auto-scroller stage. Aside from some funny enemy kills, not too notable.

World 4: Rocky Peaks

  • 4-1: The worlds are getting more dangerous. Obstacles are a lot more numerous and taking damage to save time becomes viable in many places. Also, some iced rocks make for some nice sliding strategy.
  • 4-2: In this level, I have to ride 3 cloud elevators down into different parts of the level, in order to make some cloud platforms appear over a long stretch of instant-death spikes. After that, I use a major clipping oversight to take a shortcut to the end of the level.
  • 4-3: Rayman gains a special power in this level to fly infinitely with his helicopter hair. While the helicopter is active, punching is useful for canceling it and immediately falling forward, making for some surprising moments.
  • 4-4: I make short work of this annoying and long level by abusing the sliding physics.

World 5: Ancient Forest

  • 5-1: Rayman gains another ability here: swinging from rings. These rings can give massive speed boosts by slinging Rayman forward if I punch early and then grab them when I'm underneath them. Getting the gold fist powerup makes it even easier to grab them from far away. Grabbing the rings from too close causes Rayman to swing painfully slow. My shortcuts and circumventing of intended platform paths really starts to get ridiculous on this level.
  • 5-2: More swinging and crazy shortcuts.
  • 5-3: Only one interesting shortcut here, unfortunately.

World 6: Fiery Depths

  • 6-1: This is my favorite world. It's extremely hazardous, lots of places to take damage to save time. Also, awesome Cave of Bad Dreams music! I use mercy invincibility a lot to walk across spikes, some of which are instant-kill. Budgeting my hit points becomes vital here.
  • 6-2: More life budgeting, running me down to 1 heart. I walk through a spike wall near the end of a level.
  • 6-3: The third and final auto-scroller. Little boring, except the parts where I swing right through the lava, and hit the exit off the top of the screen.
  • 6-4: Return of the infinite helicopter. I actually make a small planning error during this level and grab an out-of-the-way heart when there was another one directly in my path, because I thought I would have had to take damage again in the spinning spike rocks. Then I found a way through them, and forgot to go back and change my path. Oops. So, there's a possible 13-frame improvement to this level.

World 7: Arcane Forest

  • 7-1: The last world, featuring ridiculously precarious platforming. But I take all the jumps and cut all the corners, abusing the sliding physics to their maximum potential to breeze through the place.
  • 7-2: And more.
  • 7-3: The Dark Rayman level. Dark Rayman is supposed to follow my movements exactly, and if I touch him, I die. But I actually manage to kill Dark Rayman! Watch the top of the screen around frame 89800. This is probably the funniest part in the movie.
  • 7-4: Probably the hardest level to play for real. This level reverses your left and right controls. Of course, this means nothing in a TAS. A quick trip to VBA's menus fixed things up.

  • Mr. Dark: This final boss battle was actually broken when I repaired the movie file, so I completely re-played it. So, while most of the movie's input is four years old, this boss battle was practically done yesterday!
    • Apologies for keeping Mr. Dark off the screen so much, but this causes his animations to end sooner, continuing the battle much faster.
    • The battle consists of three rounds, first where you must dodge a stream of falling hazards, and then when you have to punch Mr. Dark three times in the form of a floating black balloon. Mr. Dark's movement and position is horribly random, so I have to manipulate his appearance position. I take him out almost instantly.
    • The flames and fireballs are on a timer, so it doesn't matter where they go. But for the stupid lightning part, I must force the lightning to always strike the top stairstep, as that causes the fastest lightning animation. There are way too many lightning bolts, anyway...
    • I do a victory dance on the moon.
    • It is possible to skip the 3D Rayman head animation at the end, but I left it in for the sake of entertainment.
    • The credits music rocks.

Additional notes

  • When a level begins, Rayman will immediately wave at the camera, unless he is subject to constant movement, in which case he will wait until the first possible moment to do the animation. I use this a lot to save the animation for funny moments.
  • Instrument tracks in the music like to mute themselves for some reason. I believe this to be an emulation glitch, since this never happened when I played on the actual GBC.
  • This game has 3 auto-scrolling stages, and the first is the worst. 1-3 is easily the most boring stage in the whole movie, so don't let it bother you. Things start picking up immediately after.
  • The game has very, very strange edge physics. Usually it is optimal to jump before falling down a cliff if you wish to go down. In this game, most of the time, jumping off a cliff and walking off a cliff takes exactly the same amount of time, because if you're falling, the cliff will reach out and "grab" you, and cause you to slip off, killing your vertical momentum. The possibility of sometimes gaining boosts by hanging from the ledge also complicates things.
  • Grabbing vines gives a horizontal boost. Grabbing most ledges does not.
  • Grabbing edges sometimes gives a downward boost, and other times it does not. It depends on the shape of the ledge, my momentum prior, and the direction I need to go after dropping.
  • The rerecord count in the movie represents the rerecords performed after having recovered the movie file, namely, the ones used during the final boss battle. The true rerecord count is greater than 35,000.

Conclusion

I have no doubt this movie could be improved by 10 seconds or more, simply due to the fact that now I know what the heck I'm doing with VBA -- not to mention all the new features such as lua and memory watch that appeared since I made this movie. So, I might improve it in the future. However, if this movie gets rejected due to poor game choice, I will not bother. So, I will sit back and see how this movie is received.

Of course, what I'd really like to do is TAS the true Rayman 1 for PS1, but it is not completely compatible with PCSX at the moment. So, I eagerly await the day I could attempt that TAS and really do justice to the legacy of Rayman, something this little GBC game does not really accomplish. If that fails, I could always go back and continue the Rayman Advance TAS I started.

Well, that's all, really. Thanks for watching and/or reading, and I hope you enjoy the movie.


mmbossman: Voting has been luke-warm, even when taking into account two trolling no votes, however the comments have been much more positive towards publication. The loudest group wins on this borderline submission: Accepting for publication.

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